Travel Alert Status
Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution
UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
The High Atlas are snow-capped and collect moisture from the Atlantic Ocean which climate patterns distribute over the western part of Morocco. Because this region lies between the Atlantic and the mountains, it enjoys a temperate climate. The Atlas range cannot, however, shut out an occasional shergui, the hot easterly wind from the desert. The eastern slopes of the High Atlas have a semi-desert aspect and a rigorous pre-Saharan climate. In the north, and separate from the Atlas ranges, the Rif Mountains loom up sharply along the Mediterranean coast. Here, also, a mild climate prevails, which permits agriculture typical of the Mediterranean region.
Moroccan dirham (MAD)
The official language is Arabic, and the Moroccan dialect of Arabic, called Derija, is the most widely spoken tongue. Derija is quite different from the classical Arabic of the Qur’an (koran), the scriptural text of Islam. Berber is the native language of about 35 % of the population, and it also includes several dialects. Other dialects are Rif, Tamazight and Shluh. French is widely spoken, especially in business, government, and higher education. Spanish can still be heard in the north, which was formerly under Spanish control. English is gaining popularity.
Arabic (official), Berber dialects, French
Arab-Berber 99.1%, other 0.7%, Jewish 0.2%
Throne Day (accession of King MOHAMMED VI to the throne), 30 July (1999)
32 00 N, 5 00 W
Northern Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, between Algeria and Western Sahara